All The Highlights From Catriona Gray’s Media Tour As Miss Universe
She charms, she sings, she amazes everyone with her eloquence—these and more from Miss Universe Catriona Gray as she starts her duties as the new queen in US. First on the queen’s to-do list: media tour.
On January 7, Catriona started her tour of various media outlets in New York, sharing what the journey has been like and showcasing to the world the articulateness and beauty that won her the Miss Universe crown.
She started off her tour on Good Morning America and Live with Kelly and Ryan, wearing a beautiful cinched yellow dress by British designer Karen Millen.
Sitting down with Ginger Zee on Good Morning America, Catriona talked about her mother’s dream when she was 13 years old, which foretold that she would win Miss Universe in a red dress.
She also shared her involvement with her advocacy group, Young Focus, an organization to which she dedicated her debut single, "We’re In this Together," and which became the focus of her answer in the final Q&A portion of the competition.
She tells Ginger, “I am so passionate about helping children in impoverished areas. And in the Philippines, I work with an organization called Young Focus, and what they do is they give access to quality education, which without NGOs like that, those kids might never realize their dream of having an education and developing a love for learning.”
Indeed, her eloquence and charm was not missed by the Good Morning America host, who called her “perfect” and “gorgeous inside and out.”
Her jam-packed schedule continued throughout Day 1, as she stopped by Celebrity Page TV and Inside Edition, before proceeding to tape an interview with ABS-CBN. Watch Catriona’s interview with ABS-CBN News here.
Talking to Stephen Walker for Celebrity Page TV, Catriona talks more about women empowerment and how these days, women are now able to become anything they want to be.
“The world is opening up to having women to be multi-faceted. We’re not just one thing anymore. We can do a multitude of things all at the same time and do them well. And I think Miss Universe is a platform that celebrates that in one of the best ways,” she says.
And of course, we can’t miss Catriona’s iconic "Lava Walk" that features her slo-mo turn, which caught the attention of supermodel Tyra Banks herself!
Interested to know how to recreate this walk yourself? Catriona shares a simple tutorial with Stephen on how to perfect the slo-mo turn.
Day two of Catriona’s media tour starts on the set of Good Day New York, with morning hosts Rosanna Scotto and Lori Strokes. Wearing the dazzling Mikimoto crown and a simple blue dress, Catriona delves deeper into the reason behind her decision to join pageants, saying she found it the best channel to further her advocacy.
“At first, when I was younger, I just saw it as a show, as sparkly dresses. It wasn’t until I was seeing how Filipino people especially see beauty queens…They really do have a voice in the community, and I think that’s really expanded with the help of social media to other countries across the world,” she says.
“Knowing that it has that platform—I was actually just volunteering at charities at the time—that’s when I saw that, ‘Wow, how further could I push or how further could I reach for my causes if I could use pageantry?”
Towards the end of the segment, Catriona was also able to show a snippet of her singing prowess, singing a line from "We’re In This Together." Watch her short but sweet singing at the 7:46 mark in the video below.
Following Catriona’s win as Miss Universe, many websites and media outlets began claiming that “the new Miss Universe is Australian, but wasn’t Miss Australia.” This angle blew into proportions since Catriona was born and raised in Cairns, Queensland.
But during her visit to the Build Series studio, Catriona was finally able to set the record straight, once and for all, that she chose to be Miss Philippines and represent the country. It can be remembered that in Catriona’s very first pageant in Sydney in 1999, she competed as Little Miss Philippines—and she continued to represent the country in pageantries ever since.
“I really feel that I am Miss Philippines,” Catriona says during the interview. “I feel like a Filipina, a Filipino woman. It just so happens that when I was growing up, it was very much in Australia and I think you can be both. I did grow up with those two sides of the world, if you would. And I just thought it was funny that there was almost a ‘war’–"No she's ours! She's practically a Miss Australia." I am a Miss Philippines but I can't blame them for being excited from feeling the high spirits.”
Catriona has been praised for her efforts in bringing Filipino fashion and talent to the international stage, proudly wearing local textiles and designs to her various engagements and activities. We’ve seen her flaunt a hand-embellished denim skirt with mother of pearl from the Tagakaolo tribe, and a modernized Filipina ensemble that consists of a handmade burda callado Pinya silk top from Lumban, Laguna, a T'nalak belt, and a hand-painted sampaguita skirt by Jeffrey Catuira.
Another one of my favourite outfits in my @missuniverse wardrobe from @jearsond in handmade burda callado Pinya silk top of LUMBAN LAGUNA, T'nalak belt and hand painted sampaguita skirt by Jeffrey Catuira ?????? Styled by @justine.aliman19 wearing @jearsond @bragaisjojo @callihandbags ?
Many netizens also began to notice that it seems like Catriona planned her first three outfits for the media tour as well, wearing the three primary colors of the Philippine flag to her media interviews.
The multi-cultural woman that she is, Catriona makes sure that she’s not only reaching the English-speaking communities. She starts Day 3 of her media tour at the Top of the Rock Observation Deck located at the Rockefeller Center with Un Nuevo Día, a Latino entertainment show airing on Telemundo.
On her interview with Build Series, Catriona highlights the importance of growing up amidst a “cohesion of cultures” and how Miss Universe is able to cross language barriers and boundaries to bring more people and women together to create great things.
“I really feel that growing up in a cohesion of cultures really made me have an opened mind in how different cultures can be—the different traditions they carry, how it makes them affect, how they treat different people, how they go by their life, their values that are integrated into them… I think that one of the beauties of a competition like Miss Universe, where you get women from all over the world coming together... it opens up the most interesting conversations. I think that's a great thing.”
Catriona has been dropping by some radio stations, too, around Manhattan. One of her first stops is Sirius XM, where she talks to Sway Calloway for Sway’s Universe.
Amidst of talk of balut, Christmas traditions, and great Filipino cuisine, Catriona delves deeper into Love Yourself Philippines and the work she does as a volunteer and spokesperson.
Talking about HIV and Aids, she says, “One, it’s not really that accessible outside the city to get testing, to get access to the educational materials to be aware, and there’s a huge amount of stigma that still exists within the Philippines surrounding HIV/Aids. I just want people to start to view getting tested just like you’re going to get your heart checked up or it’s just a medical check-up to look after yourself. The reality is that the majority of new HIV cases in the Philippines affect people from 15 to 24 years old so imagine they’re that young and they’re having their life defined by that fear and that stigma and I think that’s heartbreaking.”
How I felt when @siriusxm @swaysuniverse @realsway played my single #WereInThisTogether @youngfocusph for the first time on the radio ??????????????. Fam, if you haven't heard the single yet it's on Spotify and iTunes and the music video link is in my BIO ??? ?? @marohagopian @missuniverse #MissUniverse
And remember Catriona’s debut single, "We’re All in This Together?" The song gets its first US airplay on the same show. And it’s not just any airplay; Sirius XM drops a remix of the song, with Catriona singing along live! Watch Catriona’s full Sirius XM interview below and jump to the 14:36 mark to listen to the song.
Catriona also checked in with Bernie and Sid in the Morning on 77 WABC Radio, where she addressed some of the more controversial parts of beauty pageants, such as the swimsuit competition.
For so long, many people viewed beauty pageants as a clickbait of sorts for women to flaunt their bodies. But for someone as conservative like Catriona, she says that more than the pageant being about perfection, she sees pageants as an avenue to show the world that there is beauty in what’s real, and not what’s perfect.
Talking about the purpose of the swimsuit competition, she says, “I don’t think the swimsuit competition is just there to keep the attention of men. I think it serves a higher purpose. Cause if you think about it, our judging panel is all women this year. The criteria that we’re based on—we’re proud of our bodies, we’re proud of ourselves and how we’re confident. But I think it’s refreshing for young people to see real bodies on stage. We’re not through the filter, we’re not retouched, we’re real bodies on stage and I think that’s comforting for maybe a young girl to look up, ‘Oh look I can see my body in that girl.’”
Listen to her whole segment with Bernie and Sid at Omnyfm here.
Did someone say food? Taking a break from the jam-packed schedule, Catriona drops by Flip Sigi, The Original Filipino Taqueria in New York that features Fil-Am celebrity chef Jordan Andino. Catriona joins Chef Jordan for a New York Post feature, where she tries Flip Sigi’s best-selling burrito, nachos, and tacos.
I find that as my career grows and people learn more about what I’m doing at @FlipSigi, it becomes less about a career and more about me trying to perpetuate and represent my culture in a positive and productive light. It’s even cooler when @MissUniverse comes by and makes you realize that you haven’t even made a blip on the radar and gives you a new bar and a bigger stage to try and attain. @Catriona_Gray, thanks for stopping by, grubbing on my food, hanging out, and most of all showing the WORLD what Filipino pride is all about! Sigi Na! Mahalo! And much love from me and the crew at @FlipSigi ????????
Follow this article as we update it with more highlights from Catriona’s ongoing media tour.
Photos from @missuniverse @catriona_gray